📬 LP Network Download | SCOTUS decision on criminalizing homelessness, basic income success, social housing & more! | June 2024

Here’s a look at some of what’s happening across the Local Progress network.

🏳️‍🌈 Happy Pride!

This month especially, we celebrate love, joy, resilience, and the fight for collective liberation. To our LGBTQIA+ electeds (past and present) who are transforming what governing looks like in our school districts, towns, cities, & counties: We see you! We are here for you! Thank you for all you do! You are truly amazing! 

SCOTUS Rules Localities Can Criminalize Homelessness

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court released its decision in the case Grants Pass v. Johnson, ruling that localities can punish unhoused people for sleeping in public, even if they have nowhere else to go. As LP members explained over the past few months, putting people in jail or fining them for trying to survive outside is ignoring the failures of our society that puts people on the streets. It dehumanizes our neighbors, is ineffective at solving the root causes of homelessness, breaks trust between people and local government, and traumatizes and traps people in cycles of incarceration. The only humane and effective way to address homelessness is to make sure that everyone has a place to call home. Despite this ruling, we recommit to the work ahead. It is more important than ever that we fight for permanent housing to bring people out of homelessness; services to support newly rehoused people like case management and income counseling; preventative measures like rent stabilization and tenant protections to prevent people from becoming homeless; wage increases and worker protections to make sure everyone can afford a place to live; and support from state and federal governments to fully address this national crisis. Read more →

Philadelphia Eviction Protection Program Becomes Permanent 

This past month, the Philadelphia City Council voted to make the city’s Eviction Diversion Program permanent. The program, hailed as a national model for keeping people in their homes, connects landlords and tenants to mediation and financial support before an eviction is filed in court. LP Board member and Councilmember At-Large Kendra Brooks and Councilmember Jamie Gauthier launched the initiative in 2020 with previous LP Board co-chair and former Councilmember Helen Gym (who recently authored this incredible case study). “This program has become a national model, and by making it permanent, we are not only keeping thousands of people in their homes here in Philadelphia but also setting a standard for housing justice that other cities will follow,” said Brooks. The program has prevented ten thousand evictions a year. Nearly half of landlord-tenant pairs are able to resolve their issues outside of court, avoiding costly legal fees and life-altering eviction filings. Read more →

Basic Income Programs in Denver and Baltimore Shows Big Results 

After a year of implementation, the Denver Basic Income Project published findings showing that the program resulted in more stable housing and decreased the use of emergency services among recipients. The program, which provided no-strings-attached cash to 807 homeless adults, also saved an estimated $600,000 of public dollars by decreasing the need for shelter services, ambulance rides, emergency room and hospital visits, and/or substance use treatment centers. The project is the first-of-its-kind that looks into the impact of guaranteed income on homelessness. In Baltimore, the guaranteed income pilot also released its first year findings. The bottom line? As Mayor Brandon Scott pointed out: “guaranteed income works.” Read more → 

⭐️ Get Your Policy Win Highlighted!

We’re partnering with the Congressional Progressive Caucus Center to highlight policy wins on the local level! The Progressive Playbook is a comprehensive guide that shows advocates, legislators, and the public how to achieve real progressive wins. It will highlight successful legislative campaigns and policy victories to provide insights for other advocates and legislators to replicate in their states. If you have a policy campaign or win that you think would be a good addition, please reach out to LP Deputy Communications Director Michael Whitesides and we’ll help you submit a brief for inclusion! The Progressive Playbook is looking for policy ideas of all kinds but is specifically looking for policy wins related to clean energy, reproductive rights, housing, workers’ rights, taxes on the wealthy, and pushback against book bans.

🧑‍🏫 Fellowship Opportunity for Local Electeds in Southern

Southern Policymakers Advancing Representative Community (SPARC) is a free fellowship program for elected officials to learn about disability justice, how to engage disabled constituents, and build connections with other elected officials across the South. The fellowship is open to elected officials (at any level) who live in the following 14 Southern states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, or West Virginia. Learning about the spectrum and diversity of disabilities takes time, and everyone has to start somewhere. This fellowship will help elected officials start that learning journey and give them more tools to support disabled constituents. The deadline to apply is June 30, 2024. More info →

⚖️ Cities & Counties for Fine and Fee Justice

This October, join the San Francisco Financial Justice Project, Fines and Fees Justice Center, and Results for America at a Cities and Counties for Fine and Fee Justice event in Santa Fe, NM! Localities will receive actionable tools and resources to help them lay the groundwork to advance local fine and fee reform. Apply now to receive an all-expenses paid opportunity to join other cities and counties to learn how to advance fine and fee reforms in your jurisdiction. Deadline to apply is July 10. More info → 

 📈 ICYMI: Resource on Combating Algorithmic Rental Price-Fixing 

Rent is too high. One reason for that is that corporate actors have been colluding to set vacancy rates and hike rents up on our communities. Check out this memo with American Economic Liberties Project earlier this year on how localities can fight back → 

🏘️ Social Housing Trip to Vienna & Berlin 

In April, LP members joined PowerSwitch Action and community organizers on a trip to Vienna and Berlin to learn more about social housing: what it is, what we can learn to improve housing here in the US; and how we can collectively organize towards a housing system that prioritizes people over profits. “In Vienna, we saw that social housing was helping to bring people together. People from different income brackets live together, and it’s not stigmatized as something that’s only for the poor.” Read more about the trip from the perspective of those who went → 

The vast majority of local elected officials are part-time, unpaid, or minimally compensated. And it can be difficult to find work that can sustain leaders alongside their elected roles. That’s why every month, we’ll be sharing jobs available across the movement:

  • The Youth Engagement Fund | Program Manager. Remote with preference in YEF priority states of AZ, FL, GA, and TX. 
  • One Fair Wage | Canvasser | Denver, CO (other locations available as well). 


Additional job boards: Dino DNA | Jeremiah Program | PolicyLink | Jobs That Are Left